Volunteer Recognition: 2012 Cornerstone Honorees

  • 11/13/2012
  • Lawyers Alliance for New York

Two law firms and eight individuals recognized for business and transactional law pro bono.


"This year's honorees have delivered exemplary pro bono services, helping nonprofit organizations to provide vital programs and services during difficult financial times," said John D. Lobrano, Chair of the Board of Directors of Lawyers Alliance.

Two law firms - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Herrick, Feinstein LLP - are recipients of the 2012 Cornerstone Awards, which recognize outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofit groups that are improving quality of life for low-income New Yorkers. In addition, Lawyers Alliance for New York is presenting 2012 Cornerstone Awards to eight individual lawyers, selected from more than 1,400 business and transactional lawyers in Lawyers Alliance's volunteer network.

Lawyers Alliance presented these awards at a ceremony on November 13, 2012, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Credit Suisse, One Madison Avenue in New York City.

This year's institutional Cornerstone awardees are:

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP: This international law firm, year after year, has demonstrated top leadership in the quality and quantity of its pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations bettering New York communities. During the past thirty years, Skadden attorneys have worked on more than 400 pro bono matters for approximately 350 nonprofit clients through Lawyers Alliance, including 17 new projects since July 2011 and 18 active pro bono relationships that have been ongoing for more than five years. Skadden pro bono attorneys have provided mission-critical legal advice to nonprofit organizations with respect to formation, real estate, mergers and strategic alliances, community loan fund financing, intellectual property protection, employment, and many other legal issues.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP: As a mid-sized law firm committed to top-tier service, this law firm stands out for its premier and increasing pro bono legal work on behalf of community-based and other nonprofit organizations. With 25 pro bono attorney-client relationships established through Lawyers Alliance during the past four years, Herrick is making a major impact on nonprofit organizations that provide childcare, educational, arts, community renewal, and economic resources to low-income children, seniors, and other New Yorkers. Herrick pro bono attorneys have provided helpful legal advice related to board governance, personnel, facilities, advocacy, and real estate.

"The institutional Cornerstone Awards reflect substantial breadth and depth of pro bono legal work, and therefore represent the most significant volunteer honor conferred by Lawyers Alliance," noted Sean Delany, Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance.

This year's individual Cornerstone awardees are:

Christine M. Fitzgerald and Jason Habinsky, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP: For their trusted employment advice and counsel to 18 nonprofit organizations on a wide range of legal issues, including time-sensitive consultations and complex worker classification matters.

Scott J. Gordon, Kirkland & Ellis LLP: For his expert contract and corporate law assistance that has enabled Business Center for New Americans, Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation, and Lower East Side Ecology Center to advance their programs.

Zhuo "David" Huang, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP: For his dedicated pro bono legal services to help nonprofit Exponents create a for-profit subsidiary to leverage its expertise in educational and rehabilitative programming.

David W. Lowden, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP: For generously sharing his nonprofit law expertise with numerous newly-forming and established nonprofit organizations and attorney colleagues over many years.

Joann Moolsintong and David Portal, Nixon Peabody LLP: For their coordinated pro bono teamwork, extraordinary energy and willingness to help six nonprofit organizations navigate real estate law questions about leases and license agreements.

Michael J. Twersky, DLA Piper LLP: For using his legal skills in real estate and real estate financing to provide quality assistance that has helped YWCA of Brooklyn, Committee for Early Childhood Development, and Sinergia to finance, upgrade, and operate key facilities.

About Lawyers Alliance: By connecting lawyers, nonprofits, and communities, Lawyers Alliance for New York helps nonprofits to develop affordable housing, stimulate economic development, promote community arts, and operate and advocate for vital programs for children and young people, the elderly, and other low-income New Yorkers. During the past year, the 12 staff attorneys at Lawyers Alliance worked with 1,428 volunteer attorneys from New York City’s finest law firms and corporate legal departments to represent 628 nonprofit clients on 1,026 matters. Lawyers Alliance also reaches nonprofit organizations and attorneys through its workshops, publications, and other educational programs.

"While their legal work may vary, what the individual recipients of the 2012 Cornerstone Awards have in common is a superlative commitment to organizations that serve the neediest New Yorkers," said Elizabeth Guggenheimer, Deputy Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance.

Contact: Emily Crossan, Lawyers Alliance for New York: or 212-219-1800.

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